Jupiter String Quartet Brings “Kreutzer Madness” to Columbus

The Jupiter Quartet is a study in family dynamics(Photo: Lee Talner/Jupiter String Quartet)
The Jupiter Quartet is a study in family dynamics(Photo: Lee Talner/Jupiter String Quartet)

First there was the “Kreutzer” Sonata. Then there was The Kreutzer Sonata.

This Saturday, Nov. 7, the Jupiter String Quartet will perform Leos Janacek’s contribution to the tradition of artworks inspired by Tolstory’s novel (in turn, inspired by Beethoven’s “Kreutzer” sonata), his String Quartet No. 1 “Kreuter Sonata,” in a concert presented by Chamber Music Columbus, 8pm., at the Southern Theatre.

The program also includes Haydn’s String Quartet, Op. 20, No. 5 and Beethoven’s String Quartet, Op. 127.

The Jupiter Quartet is a study in family dynamics. Violinist Megan Freivogel and her sister, violist Liz Freivogel, play in the group, along with Megan’s husband, Daniel McDonough, and violinist Nelson Lee. That this young quartet-within-a-family can make beautiful music together is a tribute to functional families everywhere.

Nothing could be further from this bucolic impression than Leo Tolstoy’s novella, The Kreutzer Sonata, which inspired Janacek’s first string quartet. The protagonist of Tolstoy’s book tells of the events that led him to kill his wife.

But don’t be turned off!  Janacek does dark music more alluringly than most composers, and his “Kreutzer Sonata” string quartet is a riveting journey through the murky convolutions of the human mind.

Haydn’s Op. 20, No. 5 and Beethoven’s Op. 127 string quartets will bookend the Janacek Saturday night. In a sense, these works bring Janacek’s Kreutzer quartet and Tolstoy’s Kreutzer Sonata back to their origin in Beethoven’s Violin Sonata, Op. 47, dedicated to violinist Rodolphe Kreutzer.  So we’ve come full circle.  See you Saturday at the Southern!

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